Indecisiveness and an overall lack of action.
There is no such thing as patience when it comes to the transfer market – at least that’s the way it should be. I’ve written that before. I’ve also said that Arsenal don’t quite know how much of a good opportunity they have this summer to really make up ground on the top teams in England and around Europe. The fans aren’t stupid, as much as Arsene Wenger may want to think they are. So booing at the Emirates Cup is warranted, and it has little to do with “Wenger out” or not being a real supporter.
It is worth pointing out that the booing of Gonzalo Higuain was ridiculous, almost as if to say he snubbed Arsenal. The deal was on the table and even Napoli didn’t believe they had a chance of snapping him up due to the continued links with Arsenal. It’s far, far from the player’s fault, and any vitriol aimed at him was beyond childish.
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But fans don’t want to go through the pain of the struggle for fourth when the resources are quite clearly available to strengthen beyond that. I still maintain that Ivan Gazidis was intent on the club spending big this summer, but the indecision and lack of communication from the manager has left the club in this position. Yes, there probably will be signings – the club numerically can’t go without any. But are they the top targets? Will it be too late? Is the squad, as it is, good enough through the qualifying round of the Champions League?
Wenger offered up a few gems prior to the Emirates Cup on the weekend, namely by asking whether anyone could name a player who was better than what the club currently had, once again assuming that the media and supporters are oblivious to good footballers outside their own club. As I wrote last week, sometimes someone just needs to have a quiet word and tell Wenger that he should avoid ruffling the feathers in the way he does. It makes him look foolish, as well as the rest of the board.
Even with all the money in the world – because let’s be honest, £100 million is still a lot of money to use in a strengthening project over a summer – Wenger appears to be remaining true to his form, that being a lack of clear options. And here’s the thing: I don’t see Wayne Rooney or Luis Suarez as options, because if the whole summer is being wasted to only get them in during the last half hour of the window, then can they really be considered options? Not if you’re out of the Champions League and a handful of points adrift from the top spot in the league.
I also wasn’t too keen on Mikel Arteta’s summation of the current situation when he said the best players move at the end of the window. Far from the truth, as Edinson Cavani has already moved, Higuain has gone, Mario Gomez, Stevan Jovetic, Mario Goetze, James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao, Isco… I could go on forever.
Not only is there indecisiveness but there is also a lack of planning. Where is the concrete evidence to support that? Well you don’t really need any, do you? Arsenal are unbelievably easy to read when it comes to transfer dealings. They speak in riddles, but really it’s just a song and dance to tell you that nothing is actually happening – and sometimes they flat out tell you that.
Prior to this summer Arsenal fans didn’t really know what the situation was at the club. Through the media they were constantly fed contrasting stories about funds be available or the need to balance the books and stay afloat. For that it wasn’t always easy to condone the rising tide of anger at the Emirates. But now it’s different. The public has had the CEO of the club lay it out in the simplest of terms that money is available, that the struggles of the past few years have been building towards this summer. The boos at the Emirates Cup, fully warranted, were a ripple of what’s the come if the club continue on the same path. Signing will be made, but without the world-class players who can genuinely turn this team around, the growing boos will very much carry plenty of weight.
Do supporters have a right to be angered by the inaction of Arsenal?
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